Lately I’ve had this urge to create something, anything.
I can’t decide whether I want to paint or write or journal—I just want to create. But it’s like I can’t do it.
“As a writer, I need an enormous amount of time alone. Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It's a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write. Having anybody watching that or attempting to share it with me would be grisly.”
― Paul Rudnick
For days, I’ve dragged myself through this feeling of needing to write, but ironically, not having the words. For days, I couldn’t figure out why. While sorting through my thoughts the only way I know how—by writing—I suddenly recognized my nagging creative rut for what it was: writer’s block.
Naturally, I launched myself into a full on Google research frenzy and was able to confirm, to my dismay, that I was indeed experiencing writer’s block. So, like the good egg I am, I listened to what fellow bloggers recommended: I painstakingly wrote through my feelings, took a step away, and continued to fill my creative urge with something that was not writing.
Miraculously, it worked! The drain seemed to unclog itself and the words began flowing back into my brain.
While my writing was backlogged the only way I could actually write was to describe how my writer's block actually felt, specifically in comparison to other things.
I wrote in my journal:
“It feels like a cloud hanging steadily above my head, holding in the rain, but holding back from the downpour.”
“It feels like biking uphill, like I’m trying so hard to pedal and move forward, but I’m stuck in the same, slow pace—left having to accept the delayed process.”
“I think this is the worst case of writer’s block I’ve ever experienced, because it just feels muddied, like I’m in the midst of some sludge I can’t clean off.”
Reading these back, I realize how nonlinear all types of art and creative processes are, sometimes things need to be left alone in order to be made. For the sake of another comparison, it’s like bread dough. You can only tend to it for so long before it needs to be set aside and left to rise. Only then will it be ready for you to shape it once more.